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Set to be commissioned next year Dedicated freight corridor to bring down freight charges by 50 %

Dedicated freight corridor project, which is part of the Golden Quadrilateral connecting New Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata, is expected to bring down the freight charges by 50 per cent when it will become operational in 2021.

The haulage charge on Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India Ltd network will be 50 per cent lower compared to the freight tariff in the Indian Railways (IRs), DFCCIL MD Anurag Sachan told media during a two-day construction site visit of Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor (EDFC) in Prayagraj.

“We will be running all the trains at 100 kilometres per hour (kmph) on a fully automated signal system, so the haulage charges compared to Indian Railways will be very less. It will be 50 per cent. We will be running 120 trains each way a day with total carrying capacity of 13,000 tonne. So, we will not let this capacity to be underutilised,” Sachan said.

The corporation is in talks with the Ministry of Railways that some part of lower freight charges should be passed on to the customers, he said. However, he clarified that it will be on the regulatory body for the sector to fix the charges.

“As so much capacity is being created and so as per the concession agreement with the Indian Railways, we will also allow private players to come and run their own trains. There will be a regulatory body, like in the developed countries, and there will be a non-discriminatory access to these private players to operate. Ensuring fair competition between private players and the Indian Railways. “They will be at par. So, I am sure that with these kind of transparency, the freight charges will come down,” Sachan said.

Notably, the bulk of goods is being carried via roads in India as it is faster as well as cheaper than the railways. Over the past many decades since 1950s, the Indian Railways has been losing market share to road transport because of inadequate infrastructure and poor services. As on date, 90 per cent of India’s passenger traffic and 65 per cent of its freight use road transport and these shares are growing, as per DFCCIL.

The operation control center (OCC) at Prayagraj in Uttar Pradesh will be the command centre for the entire route of EDFC. Equipped with first of its kind Integrated Train Management System (TMS) and Supervisory, Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) System in India, it is built on ICONIS (Integrated Control and Information System) platform. This centre hosts a 90 metre long digital wall with officials monitoring it on a 24×7 basis to manage the automated goods trains running system.

Sachan also said that DFCCIL will start survey of the remaining corridors of the Golden Quadrilateral, and begin work by the time the western and eastern corridors are completed by December 2021. “The government, after seeing the progress on these two corridors, have decided that it is the right time that we should plan to take up the future corridors so that by the time we finish these in two years, these corridors are also planned for execution,” he said.

Three more corridors are lined up  

  • East Coast corridor from Kharagpur to Vijaywada (about 1,000 kilometres);
  • South-East to West corridor from Bhusawal to Dhankuni (near Kolkata) and
  • North South sub-corridor from Vijaywada to Itarsi (in Madhya Pradesh).

The total length of these three corridors is about 4,000 kilometres.